Characterization of Carbon Nanofibers/ ZrO2 Ceramic Matrix Composite

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Carbon micro/nanofibers prepared by catalytic chemical vapor deposition have been characterized in the form of powders and in the form of filaments, intercorporated in the matrix of ZrO2. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, high resolution electron microscopy, electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis and Raman spectroscopy have been used. The outer diameter of the fibers varied from 50 nm to 600 nm with an average diameter of 120 nm, length from several micrometers to several tens of micrometers and inner diameters from 20 nm to 230 nm. Two types of fibers have been identified; cylindrical which consists of a distinct graphite layers parallel to the fiber axes and bamboo - shaped fibers with walls which are built from domains with different orientations of graphite layers. The fibers contain 99.05 at.% carbon and 0.95 at.% oxygen with a binding energy of O (1s) electrons of 532.7 e V which corresponds to carbon in C-O bonds. In the first-order Raman spectra, the position of the band G was found at 1600 cm-1 and D at 1282 cm-1. The CNFs in ZrO2 + CNFs composite have been relatively well dispersed, however clusters of CNFs together with porosity are present as a result of the difficulty of dispersing, too. TEM and HREM revealed that the CNFs are usually located at the grain boundaries of ZrO2 in the form of undamaged nanofibers or disordered graphite.

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